No scientific evidence demonstrates that natural remedies can shrink acoustic neuromas. Doctors may recommend treatment at the time of diagnosis or monitor the condition before recommending treatment options.

An acoustic neuroma, or vestibular schwannoma, is a rare, benign tumor that grows on the nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain.

Some people prefer to try natural remedies that manage their condition. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that shrinking an acoustic neuroma with natural or alternative remedies is possible.

Acoustic neuromas are treatable through conventional methods, such as surgery and radiation therapy.

This article will explore some treatments that may benefit people with acoustic neuroma and when to consider speaking with a healthcare professional.

Observation involves regularly monitoring the tumor’s growth and any symptoms it causes without performing active treatment. Healthcare professionals may also refer to this method as “watchful waiting.”

Doctors may decide to observe a person’s acoustic neuroma if surgical options for the condition can cause complications that include further hearing loss.

Additionally, previous research included in a case study from 2023 found that acoustic neuroma may shrink by up to 22% without any treatment.

A doctor may recommend observation for the following individuals:

  • those with small or slow-growing tumors
  • older adults who do not experience symptoms, as a neuroma may not need further treatment within their lifetime
  • people with hearing in a single ear who develop acoustic neuroma in that ear, as they may not want to risk further hearing loss due to surgery

If acoustic neuroma starts causing symptoms, there are several treatment options to shrink the tumor and restore hearing. A doctor will recommend treatment based on:

  • the size of the tumor
  • where it is growing
  • how fast it is growing
  • an individual’s current hearing level
  • an individual’s age and overall health

Microsurgery involves removing part or all of an acoustic neuroma using specialized equipment with microscopic guidance.

During surgical procedures, healthcare professionals remove the tumor, sometimes through a cut in the skull. Doctors recommend different surgical approaches depending on the size and location of the tumor, as well as how well a person can hear in the affected ear.

Microsurgery options for acoustic neuroma include:

  • Retrosigmoid (suboccipital): A surgeon removes the tumor through a cut in the base of the skull. This approach may be useful for tumors of all sizes and may improve the chances of preserving hearing.
  • Middle cranial fossa: A surgeon accesses and cuts out the tumor through the middle part of the skull’s base. This is especially useful for tumors that have grown into the ear canal. Most of the time, the surgeon can preserve hearing. However, they will need to remove part of the temporal lobe, which can potentially cause seizures.
  • Translabyrinthine approach: The surgeon removes the neuroma via the inner ear. Doctors may recommend this procedure for individuals with large tumors who have already lost most of their hearing. The translabyrinthine approach allows the surgeon to protect the facial nerve, which is one of the cranial nerves.

Doctors may recommend radiation therapy in addition to surgery or as an alternative to surgery.

Radiation therapy uses high energy beams to target the tumor, aiming to stop its growth or shrink it. A healthcare professional may administer the therapy in one session or multiple sessions.

However, some people may not experience significant beneficial effects of radiation therapy for weeks, months, or years after the procedure. Additionally, acoustic neuromas may begin to grow again at some point following radiation therapy.

Most acoustic neuromas grow at a slow pace or do not grow, according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS). This means that many people with acoustic neuroma can receive treatment before it causes severe health problems.

In some cases, large acoustic neuromas can cause hydrocephalus, which is a potentially fatal buildup of brain fluid. However, acoustic neuromas rarely grow to this size.

Surgery may result in complications such as:

Acoustic neuroma treatment may not resolve health problems such as hearing loss and tinnitus. Someone may need additional treatment for these conditions.

The tumor may also grow back in some individuals who have received treatment.

People should seek medical advice if they experience any potential acoustic neuroma symptoms that interfere with daily life. These may include:

  • hearing loss
  • tinnitus
  • dizziness
  • balance problems
  • facial numbness
  • headaches

A doctor may then refer an individual for hearing tests, MRI scans, and CT scans.

If symptoms such as hearing problems and tinnitus continue after treatment, a person should discuss them with a medical professional. A doctor will likely monitor for ongoing surgical side effects and request regular MRI scans to check for tumor regrowth.

There are no natural remedies that have been scientifically proven to shrink acoustic neuromas. Sometimes, acoustic neuromas shrink without treatment. Doctors may monitor tumors without treating them while they are small or unlikely to cause major health problems.

If treatment is necessary, it may include microsurgery or radiation therapy. A healthcare professional can advise which treatment may work best on an individual basis.